Tucson’s food scene continues to grow for the better

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Rebecca Noble

Street Taco and Beer Co. on the corner of Congress Street and Church Avenue on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. Street Taco and Beer Co., open Monday-Saturday, offers street style tacos and variety of beer along with a free chip and salsa bar.

Reina Morrison

A new school year brings new students and new food to Tucson. With new restaurants around town and more to open this year, it’s easy to find fresh places to eat off campus.

For those looking for a restaurant that focuses on breakfast, lunch and the in-between, Prep & Pastry has added another location at 6390 E. Grant Rd. With a large menu featuring french toast flavors like s’mores and apple strudel, and classics like pancakes, omelettes and a large selection of other egg dishes, Prep & Pastry is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.

Nook, located downtown on East Congress Street, is another breakfast joint that opened in March. Nook serves breakfast, lunch and brunch, offering a locally owned environment with a wide variety of urban dishes. Their menu has everything from avocado toast to a Benedict flight.

“We do classic American food with some international flare,” said Nook owner Nikki Thompson.

Be sure to try the godfather Benedict, the restaurant’s most popular dish.

“It’s a Benedict with prosciutto, arugula, poached eggs, a house hollandaise and finished with a balsamic drizzle,” Thompson said. “It’s by far the number-one thing people want.”

Nook is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and until 3 p.m. on the weekends.

Kneaders Bakery & Café recently opened on 135 S. Wilmot Road. If you’re looking for freshly baked goods or lunch, Kneaders offers sandwiches, soups, salad, pastries and a wide variety of baked goods. They are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and are closed on Sundays.

Street Taco & Beer Co. is now located downtown at 58 W. Congress St. for those interested in a quick bite to eat. They offer $2-3 traditional Mexican tacos as well as locally crafted beer. Open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Street Taco & Beer Co. stays open for an extra hour on Friday and two extra hours on Saturday before closing for Sunday.

“I’m excited because the food is really reasonable for college students, and I love tacos,” said Alexandra Cebry, a junior studying social behavior and human understanding.

Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market opened this summer on 11 S. Sixth Ave., operating from 7 a.m. to midnight. This new market offers a self-proclaimed “eurban” style of grocery shopping, and even offers delivery service by bike for customers.

“The Downtown Market is really close to where I live, so it’s convenient for me and has a lot of good organic produce,” said Rachel Ward, a junior studying retail and consumer science.

The market’s grand opening will take place in September.

For a sweet treat, The HUB Ice Cream Factory has opened separately from its former location inside the HUB Restaurant. Here you can find homemade ice cream, shakes, floats and sandwiches. Try their salted caramel or oatmeal cookie dough flavors served at both the restaurant and the Ice Cream Factory. They are open from noon until 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and stay open from noon until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

For a variety of burgers, barbecue items and Sonoran specialties, look for RoadRunner Mobile Kitchen as a quick way to grab a bite in between classes. The mobile kitchen resembles a food truck atmosphere with a variety of foods.

Illegal Pete’s Mexican restaurant and bar will open this fall as well, with live music on 876 E. University Blvd. “We’re really excited to be a part of this community,” said owner Pete Turner.


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